The short sell:
UMFM’s Pledge-O-Rama is on NOW! For the next week, we’re looking for a little love from our listeners to help us to continue to put on the best possible programming. We have a modest goal that we must meet. We really could use your support:
Secure online donation form: http://www.umfm.com/info/donate/
Check out some amazing new incentives: http://www.umfm.com/news/page/1
And some really cool online auctions to support Pledge-O-Rama:
Canadian Indie Music 2CD Sampler 1989: http://bit.ly/Indie89
Colin James DVD & signed original script: http://bit.ly/CJDUDVD
Stan Rogers signed CBC cheque stub: http://bit.ly/SRCBCauto
This Sunday, Oct. 21, live, in-studio, our most played local artists in history, NATHAN!
Thursday, Oct. 25, live, in-studio, DEL BARBER and his BAND!
The full story:
I like to support a lot of good causes. I’m a do-gooder. I’ve sold hundreds of pounds of beef to send a kid to Churchill, raised dough for my school in all kinds of weird ways, and I even rode a bike to Gimli and back to raise money for the MS Society, five times! I believe in all of those good causes and more, and I put my money where my mouth is.
But no cause has ever gripped my heart and soul like this one. The radio station that has given so much to me over the past 12 years or so needs a little bit of help, and damn it, I’ll move hell and high water to do what I can for the cause.
You see, I’d dreamed of being on the radio since I was a kid, listening to Howard Mandshein introduce me to amazing new music and talk to famous people. I never even thought that I’d someday be his sidekick on the radio. UMFM gave me that opportunity, and so much more.
It sounds stupid, I know, but this volunteer gig has changed my life forever in so many different ways. My family will always be first and foremost in my life, but I have to tell you, there are times when even they take a back seat to my role at UMFM. Doing these shows is something that I’m more passionate about than I could have ever imagined.
I’m a guy who gets bored pretty easily – for most of my life, I never kept a job, a relationship, an address, a vehicle, nothing for more than about 5 years at a time. But 12 years into my time at UMFM, I love it more and more every day, and I’ve never for a moment considered what life would be like without it. I spend most of my time thinking about what I’m going to play and talk about on my next show. I spend too much money on music for the shows. I spend way too much time researching, planning, promoting, and archiving my shows. It’s consuming, but never a chore; in fact, the more I do it, the more I want to do more with it. I’m hooked, and I’ve got it bad.
And it’s because of people like you. As a kid, I was a real loner, very few friends, didn’t have much to say, never wanting to be the centre of attention. I was that guy that you never knew existed in school. I was nobody.
But when I got to UMFM, I suddenly felt like somebody. There were all of these people, many of whom were even nerdier than me. I could sit and talk about music with people who understood and appreciated what I had to say. I got to sit across a desk from my idol Howard for years, and he regularly asked ME to jump in on an interview with some of the most famous and admired musicians in the world.
And that was just the beginning. In 2002, I inherited the Sunday afternoon slot from Lisa-Marie Serafin’s Songwriters’ Circle. I know that truly, Jeremy gets the title, but I kind of feel like Tell the Band to Go Home is my first born. Yeah, I stole a lot from Lisa-Marie, Howard, and a wee bit here and there from Stu Reid (please don’t tell him I said that), but it’s something that I felt was my own, and something that I was and still am insanely proud of and forever committed to.
It’s given me so many incredible opportunities. I got to be the manager/publicist for Easily Amused (which I sucked at, so they don’t talk to me to this day!), I got to organize incredible benefit shows for JP Hoe and The Times Change(d). I got to nervously introduce The Sadies at a sold out Pyramid show. I got to drive the Wailin’ Jennys’ tour bus and create a multi-media presentation for their CD release show. I got to host a stage at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, and lots of shows at The West End Cultural Centre. I even had a song written about me (it’s been a while since we played the classic “Jeff Robson Brings Bruce Springsteen to Winnipeg!”)
And that brings me to you, my friend in music. Ron from Lockport is one such devoted character who’s become a friend and so much more (he spent Christmas morning with us last year, and donated the weird and wonderful items we’re auctioning off on eBay), then there’s Allison Green, the longest-standing, most devoted and passionate supporter any musician or music-lovin’ radio dude could wish for, of course there’s Big D, our Canadian music loving German superfan, Boyd & Jean, Zenon & Melissa, Rob & Laura, and so many others who have become true friends. For a guy who has never had many “real” friends, it’s incredible to think that I’m so closely connected with so many amazing people.
And the musicians! I truly believe that Del Barber and Christina Martin are among the finest songwriters in the world today, and they’re my friends. I can call them and count on them. I get to meet my heroes (even cranky Colin Hay and mumblin’ Martin Tielli), and I get to help hand out Canadian Folk Music Awards and Junos.
And it’s all thanks to a radio show with a goofy name. And there are dozens of incredible radio shows with goofy names on UMFM. All of them are programmed by passionate nerds like me. Each and every host treats their show like it’s an important member of the family (well, most of them, anyway…) We all work hard because it matters so much to us.
But it wouldn’t matter at all without you. Each of us has had that experience where we’ve heard some amazing music or an intelligent idea that really moved us somehow, and we want to provide those moments for you. We want to entertain you, educate you, humour you, inspire you, move you, and occasionally, anger you. We could easily sit and make mixed tapes for ourselves, but it’s so much more fun to connect with you and get you involved.
Pledge-O-Rama is your chance to get directly involved and take ownership of these shows and this station. No, you can’t actually buy Jared’s desk, but this week, we’ll let you name it! This is the point where we really need your help, and we really want to know that you think we’re important.
We don’t have to be your whole world, and you don’t have to pay the bills single-handedly. As much as it would make our lives so much simpler to find one rich benefactor willing to give us $20,000, it’s so much more fun and important to get lots of great people involved. I’d much rather have 20,000 people pay $1 each than have a big corporation give us the amount we’re looking for. To know that you think we’re worthy of some of your hard-earned money is huge reward, and it motivates us going forward.
If we’ve done something good for you, as you’ve done for us, we really would appreciate hearing from you this week. I know that some of you are shy and don’t like to call in all the time, but if just this once, you phoned and said that you were out there, and especially if you were willing to make a donation, HOWEVER SMALL, it would mean a lot.
Sure, we’ve got big prizes to thank folks who can afford to give us more. Honestly, it helps a lot to get those big ones, but for me, if you’re willing to give us $5 or $2 or just phone and say that you’re out there, that’s what I’m really hoping to get out of this week. I would love to know that UMFM matters to you. It means everything to me.
I’ll be down at UMFM answering phones on Saturday during my mentor and old friend John Prentice’s fine show, Planet Mainstage, and I’ll sit around on Sunday night during the great block of roots shows that follows TTBTGH. I’ll stay late on Thursday after Free Range Radio, and I’d love it if you called and showed your support for one of those great hosts and said hi to me. Of course, I’d love it a little more if you called in during one of my shows. TTBTGH has received overwhelming support in pre-pledging action. Steel Belted Radio could use a little love…
Thanks for reading this insane manifesto. Thanks for the encouragement and support over the years. Thanks for being my friend. And thanks so much for helping out UMFM’s Pledge-O-Rama. Let’s hug.
Operators are standing by:
Tell the Band to Go Home
Sundays, 2-4 pm central
Steel Belted Radio
Thursdays, 6:30 – 8 pm central
CJUM 101.5 UMFM